Professional wrestlers have a habit of being larger than life, and it’s often this quality that makes their transition to the big screen that much smoother. Many champions of the ring have successful acting careers, from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, John Cena, to “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan. Wrestlers have been popping up in cinema for decades.
Not all that make the switch from the squared circle manage equal successes. Some choose their projects well, earning themselves and their respective films critical acclaim. Others aren’t as lucky, with the majority of their movie careers heading in the straight-to-DVD bargain bin. When it comes to the very best movies featuring the most famous fighters, these cinematic treasures are certainly championship material.
10 Moana Is Arguably The Best Of Many Movies Featuring The Great One
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is one of the biggest movie stars on the planet. A valid criticism of his movie career – the former WWE champion often lends his undeniable charisma to films that don’t hold up well under scrutiny from critics. Dwayne Johnson has starred in several films, from Fast And Furious and Pain And Gain, to Jumanji and Baywatch.
The Rock’s greatest glory when it comes to the movies is arguably his show-stealing performance in Moana. It’s not only one of Johnson’s best showings, but the Disney hit is arguably the finest movie he has ever been a part of.
9 Batista Made The Most Of His Screen Time In Denis Villeneuve’s Dune
A science-fiction masterpiece from one of the very best filmmakers working today, Dune managed to exceed expectations. Even though hype for another adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel had been building for over 20 years, Dune certainly delivered.
Dave Bautista plays Glossu Rabban in the critically acclaimed Dune. Fans may have been hoping for more of the former Evolution member in Denis Villeneuve’s picture. With Dune: Part Two set to start filming in June 2022, they will more than likely get their wish when the sequel hits the big screen.
8 The Peanut Butter Falcon Is A Sweet Love Letter To Pro Wrestling
The Peanut Butter Falcon works as both an uplifting drama and a silver screen love letter to professional wrestling. The Peanut Butter Falcon follows Zak, a young man with down syndrome who dreams of stepping into the squared circle. Shia LaBeouf, Zack Gottsagen, and Jon Bernthal star.
The main cast are supported by the legendary grapple greats, Mick Foley and Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Few films have ever managed to capture the magic and wonder of the performance art so perfectly. The Peanut Butter Falcon also achieved the astonishing goal of becoming 2019’s highest-grossing independent movie.
7 Spider-Man Met The Macho Man Back In Sam Raimi’s Classic
Thanks to Spider-Man No Way Home, it’s hard to imagine a time when Spider-Man was more popular than he is right now. Back in 2002, Sam Raimi created a movie that had fans and industry executives in shock at just how adored the web-slinger could be on the big screen.
In the wrestling ring opposite Tobey Maguire, the legendary “Macho Man” Randy Savage was playing his part in making Spider-Man such a monumental success. It may not have been the feature role that Savage promised, but it was certainly a treat for any wrestling fans watching Spider-Man.
6 The Wrestler Is A Dark And Depressing Look At The Life Of A Grappler
While some movies capture the magic of the wrestling ring, others realistically portray its dark side. The Wrestler sheds light on an aging veteran and his desperate attempts to cling to the highs of yesteryear. Mickey Rourke earned himself an Oscar nomination for his heartbreaking showing as fictional wrestling star, Randy Robinson.
Ernest “The Cat” Miller plays a prominent role in The Wreslter as The Ayatollah. Die-hard wrestling fans can also spot the likes of R-Truth, Nigel McGuinness, ECW legend The Blue Meanie, and current WWE star, Cesaro.
5 Blade Runner 2049 Houses Another Excellent Acting Showing From Batista
Dave Bautista has earned himself plenty of praise for his cinematic showings since he retired from the sports entertainment business. One of these performances came in Denis Villeneuve’s science-fiction sensation, Blade Runner 2409.
The sequel to Ridley Scott’s highly influential cult classic may have underwhelmed at the box office. But, Blade Runner 2049 scooped up a healthy helping of awards and is frequently cited as one of the best films of 2017. Visually breathtaking with a highly engaging sci-fi mystery driving the plot, Blade Runner 2049 is a must-watch for fans of the genre.
4 With Roddy Piper In The Lead Role, They Live Is John Carpenter Gold
They Live remains one of John Carpenter’s best-loved sci-fi action films. And unlike many movies that feature professional wrestlers, They Live utilizes one in the lead role.
Roddy Piper commands the screen with the presence of a veteran actor, and is on top, trash-talking form throughout. Unforgettable quotes, six-minute fight scenes, and delightfully dark humor are all part of the package. They Live an underrated genre great from one of cinema’s most inventive minds.
3 The Princess Bride Is The Ultimate Larger Than Life Fantasy
One of the greatest fantasy adventure films to ever grace screens, Rob Reiner’s The Princess Bride can lay claim to many accomplishments. One of its largest accomplishments, The Princess Bride stars WWE and professional wrestler Andre The Giant.
The Princess Bride is held up by many as the gold standard of the fantasy genre. The Princess Bride even earned itself an induction into the National Film Registry in 2016. There are very few films starring wrestlers that can top the feel-good fun of this awesome adventure.
2 Predator Is An Action Classic Featuring The Bulging Biceps Of Jesse Ventura
Predator is an Arnold Schwarzenegger classic and one of the finest action thrillers of the 1980s. Predator is 2 hours of fist-pumping, edge-of-your-seat thrills, and instantly quotable one-liners.
Fans would be hard-pressed to find a film that features bigger biceps than Predator. It should come as no surprise that a wrestling legend throws his heavyweight charisma around. Jesse “The Body” Ventura is as intimidating as ever in Predator. He manages to hold his own against the undisputed king of action films.
1 The Best Movies Starring Pro Wrestlers Belong To The MCU, And There’s One Standout In Particular
Dave Bautista’s Drax is a regular feature in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The films featuring the former WWE man are enough to fill a discussion of their own. Guardians Of The Galaxy and its sequel are two of the finest installments to come from Marvel. Arguably the greatest movie to feature Batista as Drax is Avengers: Infinity War.
The Animal’s transition from the ring to the big screen has been tremendous to witness. The former wrestler has seen incredible success at landing himself in highly acclaimed pictures. Bautista’s surpassed anyone to make the switch before or since in that regard.
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